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Greek and Roman Theatre. By: Shannon Roark . Roman Theatre. Roman theatre was very similar to Greek theatre. Borrowed Greek ideas and improved on them Less philosophical

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Greek and Roman Theatre

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Greek and roman theatre

Greek and Roman Theatre

By: Shannon Roark

Roman theatre

Roman Theatre

  • Roman theatre was very similar to Greek theatre.

  • Borrowed Greek ideas and improved on them

  • Less philosophical

  • Encompassed more than drama : acrobatics, gladiators, jugglers, athletics, chariots races, naumachia (sea battles), boxing, venationes (animal fights)

  • Entertainment tended to be grandiose, sentimental, diversionary

  • Actors / performers were called "histriones"

Major influences on roman theatre

Major influences on Roman Theatre

  • Greek Drama

  • Etruscan influences – emphasized circus-like elements

  • FabulaAtellana – Atellan farces (Atella was near Naples).

Forms of roman theatre

Forms of Roman Theatre

  • Roman Drama – there are only about 200 years that are important:

  • Livius Andronicus – 240 – 204 B.C. – wrote, translated, or adapted comedies and tragedies, the first important works in Latin. Little is known, but he seems to have been best at tragedy.

Forms of roman theatre cont

Forms of Roman Theatre (cont.)

  • GnaeusNaevius – 270-201 B.C. excelled at comedy, but wrote both

  • Both helped to "Romanize" the drama by introducing Roman allusions into the Greek originals and using Roman stories.

Roman theatre design buildings

Roman Theatre Design- Buildings

  • General characteristics:Built on level ground with stadium-style seating (audience raised)Skene becomes scaena – joined with audience to form one architectural unit Paradoi become vomitorium into orchestra and audienceOrchestra becomes half-circle

Roman theatre design buildings cont

Roman Theatre Design- Buildings (cont.)

  • Stage raised to five feetStages were large – 20-40 feet deep, 100-300 feet long, could seat 10-15,000 people3-5 doors in rear wall and at least one in the wingsscaena frons – façade of the stage house – had columns, niches, porticoes, statues – paintedstage was covered with a roofdressing rooms in side wingstrap doors were commonawning over the audience to protect them from the sun, during the empire around 78 B.C, .cooling system – air blowing over streams of waterarea in from of the scaena called the proskene (proscenium)






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